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John de Piano Carping a Franciscan, who made a won-
derful journey by way of Batu's camp on the Volga to
Karacoram, the capital founded by Ogotay. He arrived
there in A.D. 1246, at an interesting time, as a Diet was
being held for the election of Kuyuk to the throne
rendered vacant by the death of his father, Ogotay.
Two of Kuyuk's ministers were Christians, and in
consequence the Pope's ambassador had a friendly recep-
tion. Very different was the treatment accorded to the
representatives of the Caliph and of the Assassins, who
were dismissed with threats and menaces* To the Latin
mission letters were given, and, ignoring a hint that they
should be accompanied by Tartar envoys, they set out on
their long return journey, which was successfully accom-
plished. John died shortly after his return, but the
information he brought to Europe was of the utmost
The next mission to be despatched was placed under
the Dominican Friar Anselm, who had instructions to
seek out the nearest Tartar army and deliver a letter
from the Pope exhorting the Mongols not to renew their
ravages in Christian countries and to repent of their mis-
deeds. In 1247 this truly forlorn hope reached the camp
of the General Baydu in Persia, and, as the friars brought
no gifts and refused to do obeisance, they were treated
with contempt " as dogs." Their letters, however, were
translated first into Persian and then into Tartar and
were read before Baydu. The monks were kept waiting
for an answer by the incensed Mongol, who, it is said,
thrice gave the order for their execution. But in the end
they were dismissed with the reply of the General in the
words of Chengiz : " Whoever will obey us, let him
remain in possession of his land, of his water, and of his
inheritance . . . but whoever resists, let him be anni-
hilated." The Pope was summoned to come in person
and offer his submission. These intrepid friars returned
in safety to Rome after an absence of three and a half
We now come to the famous mission of William of
Rubruquis, who was despatched by St. Louis and reached